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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Election Debate Series update
May 27, 2013
More than 100
Masvingo residents thronged Masvingo Civic Centre to attend the
Election Debate held on Friday May 24. This was the second debate
in the province, the first having been held a month ago. While the
first one focused on the country’s
preparedness for election, this debate sought to find out if
the parties are internally ready for elections. It also provided
a platform for citizens to clearly interrogate parties’ internal
processes in selecting candidates for council, parliamentary and
presidential elections. Honourable Harrison Mudzuri (Provincial
Spokesperson MDC-T), Mr Qhubani Moyo (National Director of Policy
and Research MDC) and Mr Thomas Maseko (Representing the provincial
spokesperson Zapu) represented their parties. Zanu-PF was invited
but no one participated on their behalf.
Below are highlights
from this meeting;
- On respecting
internal party constitutional provisions; People (electorate)
demanded to know why the MDC-T had allowed people who had defected
from the MDC to participate in the primaries contrary to the provisions
in its constitution. However, Hounarable Muduri indicated that
the same constitution has a clause which allows the National executive
to consider people who have furthering the interests of the party
even from outside (appendix 2).
selection process; Zapu is yet to decide on who will be its presidential
candidate although they are likely to endorse Dumiso Dabengwa.
This was raised after citizens wanted to know who will be the
party’s presidential candidate since its constitution does
not allow anyone over seventy to contest presidential elections
and Dabengwa is over seventy.
- The MDC
led by Welshman Ncube had already received applications for all
the available vacancies countrywide and the party is now in the
process of selecting candidates, however, the process of selection
- It emerged
that the MDC-T was already involved in the internal process of
candidate selection, having held the confirmation exercise for
sitting MPs during the same week and moving towards primaries
during the following weekend.
ahead of elections; All the parties reiterated the need for reforms
before elections arguing that these would create conducive environment.
about Zapu’s visibility in the province and process of candidate
selection, Mr Maseko informed the meeting that his party had received
applications countrywide but was not clear on the exact process
of candidate selection.
- The people’s
ask; The general calls to the parties were that they should be
transparent and show that in the event of coming into power they
would be able respect the country’s constitution, laws and
account to the citizenry.
Close to a hundred
Lupane residents attended an election debate organized by Lupane
Agenda, a chapter of Bulawayo Agenda at the Council Hall on Sunday
May 26. This was the second debate in the district. While the first
one focused on the country’s preparedness for election (the
same as the Masvingo one), this debate sought to find out if the
parties are internally ready for elections. It also provided a platform
for citizens to clearly interrogate parties’ internal democratic
processes in selecting candidates. Esau Ncube (MDC-T), Vumani Ndlovu
(MDC), John Robert Khumalo (Zanu-PF) and Themba Mlala (Zapu) represented
their party provincial chairpersons on the day.
Below are some
of the highlights of meeting;
- Date of
elections still contentious? MDC, MDC-T and Zapu agreed that elections
are likely to be held in September while Zanu-PF failed to stick
to June 29 and stated that the president will use the powers vested
in him to determine the date of the election.
selection process; The MDC indicated that they had already started
the process of identifying suitable candidates to represent the
party during the polls. MDC-T also highlighted that primaries
had already begun countrywide to select candidates. Zanu-PF’s
Khumalo said his party is still preparing for primaries which
will be held in due course while Mr Mlala his already party already
has candidates countrywide and could not clarify the selection
- On Reforms
ahead of elections; MDC-T’s Ncube said his party will not
participate in any election that is held before reforms, insisting
that reforms first before elections.
- On factionalism
and intra-party violence; Responding to questions on intra-party
violence, MDC-T rep said that his party ‘does not condone
violence but at times it is in the human nature to get violent
when fighting for power’. He however told the public that
they are taking all the necessary action to deal with internal
- On violence
and intimidation: Mr Mlala said his party is working tirelessly
countrywide to make sure that they are visible and claimed that
Jabulani Sibanda had been sent to Lupane because his party is
making inroads in the district.
- In a dramatic
‘Damascus moment’, Mlala admitted that he was once
a violent Zanu-PF and he had left all the habits in that party
as he was now with Zapu.
- On possibility
of an Electoral Pact; The two MDC formations concurred that there
was no need for a coalition ahead of polls as they felt their
parties have enough influence and resources to get outright victories.
- Need for
peaceful elections; Mr Khumalo called for political tolerance
and peaceful elections emphasizing that what is important is that
‘we consider the fact that we are all Zimbabweans first
before belonging to different political parties’.
Bulawayo Agenda’s Mmeli Dube emphasized that these meetings
should assist the electorate in making informed decisions during
elections and that Bulawayo Agenda will provide platforms for elected
officials to account to the electorate during their term of office.
He thus urged the political parties and stakeholders to take these
Visit the Bulawayo
Agenda fact sheet
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